Southeast Toyota Distributors, the nation's largest franchised distributor of Toyota vehicles, sold its 5 millionth vehicle, then “gave” it to the buyer by reimbursing her for what she paid.

A prize patrol of company officials took Karen Petty, 56, by surprise at her Cape Coral, FL home, giving her congratulatory roses and a check for $25,503.07, what she paid for an '03 Camry LE.

The car was sold by Will Barrios of Ft. Myers (FL) Toyota, one of 165 Toyota stores in Southeast's network.

Says Southeast President Ken Czubay, “What better way to give our 5-millionth customer an appropriate ‘thank you’ — a free vehicle.”

Czubay says that in 1968 when Southeast founder Jim Moran was awarded the franchise to distribute Toyotas, he instinctively knew it was destined for greatness. During its first year with 11 associates and 42 dealerships, Deerfield Beach, FL-based Southeast dealers sold 11,732 vehicles. It sold its one millionth vehicle in 1982 and its two millionth in 1990, its three millionth in 1995 and its four millionth in 2000.